Bringing formal financial services to savings groups

New handbook helps financial service providers deliver them

​​​>> See the handbook​

​>> Related: Making Small-Scale Savings Work Programme​

BRUSSELS, 5 May 2017 – A new reference guide for financial service providers can help them more effectively design and delivery of financial services for Savings Groups. Titled Delivering Formal Financial Services to Savings Groups: A Handbook for Financial Service Providers, the document is available on the SEEP website.

​"These groups represent a massive opportunity for financial service providers with respect to customer acquisition, raising domestic deposits, and the cross-selling of financial products," explains Prabhat Labh, Program Manager, Financial Inclusion at The MasterCard Foundation. "Lack of understanding about these opportunities has prevented financial service providers from developing deeper engagement with Savings Groups. This handbook has the potential to transform how financial service providers engage with this segment. It achieves a fine balance between doing things right and doing them well."

​Commenting on the handbook, Christian Pennotti, Director of Access Africa at CARE International says: “In many countries, Savings Groups are one of the most – if not the most – well organized and pervasive potential customer segment seeking access to formal financial services. With the support of this guide, financial service providers and their partners have a new go-to resource to design solutions that can effectively meet this demand, drive financial inclusion and close critical access gaps for women and other excluded populations.”

​About the handbook

In partnership with CARE and the Master Card Foundation, SEEP's Savings-Led Financial Services Working Group​ undertook a consultative process to update a previous version of the handbook, which was originally developed by CARE. Drawing on the experiences of other Savings Group (SG) promoters and financial services providers, the new handbook provides tools and guidance on how to link SGs with formal financial institutions. WSBI took part in the publication update.

About Savings Groups

There are more than 14 million members of Savings Groups across 75 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, representing a promising platform for financial inclusion in underserved markets. Savings Groups offer an entry point for financial service providers to isolated communities; they are organized, experienced and disciplined; they aggregate demand across many low-income clients; and they have identified needs that financial service providers can address.

​​​>> See the handbook​

​>> Related: Making Small-Scale Savings Work Programme​

Financial inclusion